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Film Room: Bud Dupree Gets Better Of Rookie Tackle

Okay, we’ve got a lot of plays to sort through here, so I’m not wasting a lot of time with intro text. What we’re looking at here is a selection of Bud Dupree’s pass-rushing opportunities against the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s opener for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It starts on third and 13 on the Browns’ opening possession. Rushing from a wide nine stance, Dupree simply runs himself up the arc, which in turn helps open a running lane for a 15-yard scramble.

Late in the opening quarter, he and Cameron Heyward run a stunt, with Dupree getting good penetration through the B Gap. He’s able to get into Taylor’s face and bats the ball down—or up, landing innocently between three Steelers defenders.

Late in the second quarter, the fourth-year pass rusher gets home for the first time this season. Though rookie Desmond Harrison at left tackle shows poor technique here, Dupree shows good leverage and some speed to power, finally tomahawking the ball for the strip.

The Browns finally got on the scoreboard on their opening possession of the third on a 20-yard Taylor scramble. This was another play in which Dupree gets worked up the arc, Harrison this time actually pushing him upfield. But his vacating the left side left only Tyson Alualu on that perimeter.

Dupree was able to get pressure on Taylor on several plays in the middle of the third quarter, including this on a busted screen to Duke Johnson on which he nearly gets a piece of the ball again.

He did get a piece of the ball on another screen to Johnson several plays later, giving him two passes defended at the line of scrimmage for the game. It’s helpful when your opponent gives up so much ground.

It looked as though Dupree would have his second strip sack of the game a play later, getting a good first punch on Harrison and getting the angle. He knocked the ball out of Taylor’s hand, but he was ruled offside on the play. It was officially credited as an incomplete pass, but I’m not so sure.

Early in overtime, we see him work another inside stunt, left one-on-one with the running back. He drives the back into the pocket, forcing Taylor to flush out to his right, where he was able to complete a pass for seven yards.

All in all, I wouldn’t exactly be rushing to the Pro Bowl ballot. He did generate some pressure, but I grade it on a curve based on the actual performance of his opponent on those specific plays. I’m not dinging them for the tackle being an undrafted rookie, but for what actually happened.

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